Today, or in the next couple of days, some of you will get a ballot in the mail.
If you’ve been busy binge watching “Suits” on Netflix, like me, let me catch you up.
Why did I get a ballot in the mail? There’s a special primary election on Aug. 15 to fill Nathan Fletcher’s seat on the County Board of Supervisors. Not everyone is voting, only people who live the fourth district which includes parts of the city of San Diego, Lemon Grove and La Mesa.
Refresh on the county (skip if you don’t need it): The county’s main job is to deploy state and federal money for services, and to manage public health, air pollution and food assistance. It also plays a major role in what gets built and where in unincorporated areas, or areas that aren’t incorporated as cities. There are five district and each has a representative. They are known as County Board of Supervisors, or supes as we like to call them. They oversee a giant budget and play a huge role in what gets done.
If you remember, Nathan Fletcher resigned from the Board of Supervisors following allegations that he sexually harassed and sexually assaulted an employee of the Metropolitan Transit System. The board in May voted to hold a special election rather than appoint someone to the seat.
Do you have questions about the race, or want to share a topic related to the race that we should cover? Email me at email@example.com.
Here’s a list of the candidates you’ll see listed in your ballot, if you live in the district. Grab your cafecito and jump in.
- Janessa Goldbeck, a Democrat, has had her sights on this seat for a while now. She announced her candidacy in February — before the scandal broke. Fletcher himself had announced he was running for state Senate and she assumed he’d win. She’s racked up some endorsements from heavy hitters (think senators and congressional members). She is the CEO of Vet Voice Foundation, a nonprofit. Goldbeck recently spoke to our Scott Lewis about her ideas for where housing should go. She weighed in on an intense debate about building in unincorporated and rural areas. This debate is split by those who are against sprawl development in those areas, mostly Dem supes, and those who want it. Read her take in the Politics Report here. I know, this newsletter is usually only for members, but I opened it for you. 😉
- Paul McQuigg, a Republican, is a retired U.S. Marine and public speaker for disabled veterans. He previously served as a police and fire commissioner for the city of Oceanside. The U-T published a Q-and-A about why he is running and his priorities.
- Monica Montgomery Steppe, a Democrat, currently sits on the San Diego City Council. She represents the city’s fourth district, which includes the neighborhoods of Lincoln Park, Encanto, Greater Skyline Hill and other neighborhoods in southeastern San Diego. She likely has the greatest name recognition in the race, which is important in a short race. Montgomery Steppe has received a ton of endorsements from unions, many who opposed her when she first won her City Council seat.
- Amy Reichert unsuccessfully ran against Fletcher last year. She is a founder of ReOpen San Diego, a nonprofit that organized in opposition of Covid-19 closures and more. According to the U-T, she is a licensed private investigator. On the VOSD Podcast this week, our Jakob McWhinney shared some insight about her message in this race. Listen here.
They Just Can’t Find Housing
On Friday, I caught up with Tami Grobarek.
I introduced you to Grobarek in May. She and her fiancé William Pendarvis had been living in their car with their two dogs. They were dealing with car trouble, and issues navigating homeless services.
They shared their story with me, and I wrote about how some people experience the complexity and bureaucracy of systems created to help them. You can read the full story here.
She told me Friday that they are still living in their car and parking at a safe lot. She said they haven’t found housing.
We’ve written a lot about how difficult it is for people who are unhoused to move into housing. And how the lack of affordable housing impacts service providers’ ability to move people to more stable options.
More Chisme to Start Your Week
- Wow, what a week. We learned Monday that Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong and his family sold the San Diego Union-Tribune to Alden Global Capital. That company is feared by many in our industry for their habit of cutting down costs with staff reductions. Scott Lewis followed up later in the week with a deeper look at that sale. Read his column here.
- The city of San Diego needs to get a lot done before it can crack down on homeless encampments. Lisa Halverstadt checked in on the “laundry list” as the ban is set to go into effect later this month. Read the story here.
- Halverstadt was also the first to report that Coleen Cusack, a pro-bono attorney, wants to oust city of San Diego Councilman Stephen Whitburn.
- MacKenzie Elmer this week explained how a water divorce turned into a full WWE Smackdown. She’s been following the story about two water districts that want to stop buying water from San Diego. They say it’s because prices are hurting farmers in their districts, but opponents worry that those who keep buying water from the San Diego County Water Authority will have to pick up the tab. Follow her water coverage with the Environment Report.
- Jakob McWhinney had a fascinating story about San Diego Unified’s board. He explains that they are pretty much the family that never fights. Read the story here.